by Jim Ridley
on Sat, Jan 30, 2010 at 10:53 AM
As we all know, salt melts ice -- which may explain why The Belcourt is staying open during the White Death of '10 to show Araya, the well-reviewed latest release from Milestone Films (of I Am Cuba, Killer of Sheep and The Exiles fame). Sarah Childress, who's instrumental in Sarratt's fine "International Lens" series, is still scheduled to host a discussion after today's show at noon. (Even so, it's probably worth a call to 383-9140 beforehand if you're planning to go.) Here's some information about the film for its website:
Benacerraf's film portrays a day in the life of three families living in one of the harshest places on earth -- Araya, an arid peninsula in northeastern Venezuela. For 450 years, since its discovery by the Spanish, the region's salt was manually collected and stacked into glowing white pyramids. Overlooking the area, a 17th-century fortress built to protect against pirate raids stood as a reminder of the days when the mineral was worth as much as gold and great fortunes were made in the salt trade. Benacerraf captures the grueling work of these salineros in breathtaking high-contrast black-and-white images.